Chain O-ring WD-40 exposure effects study and results

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by klm4755, May 25, 2008.

  1. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

    Jul 1, 2007
    Poor WD40....

    WD40 = Water Displacement compound #40.

    It's not a lubricant, it's not a penatrating oil, it's meant to displace water and it's supposed to leave a thin coating of its base oil on the surface after the solvent evaporates..

    The military now uses VVL-800 as the primary water displacement compound.

    Krause (Sidewinder) and DID did not have specific cleaning instructions.

    EK chain:
    Do not use harsh solvents or chemicals, such as gasoline or benzene. EK recommends using a biodegradable degreaser with a soft (non-wire) bristle brush or clean cloth for removing dirt. Use kerosene (paraffin oil) if necessary, let dry and lubricate immediately within 10 minutes.

    RK Chain:
    Q How should I maintain my O-ring chain?
    A. Doing routine maintenance on any chain is a crucial step to getting the maximum wearlife out of your chain. You should clean and check its adjustment every 400 miles (sooner if the chain gets excessively dirty). Use formulated O-ring chain cleaner or other similar product to keep dirt from building up around link plates and rollers. Don’t use a wire brush or pressure washer. If your chain comes in contact with water, be sure to use a moisture displacement (like WD40). Lubing an O-Ring chain is vital for maximum wearlife. All RK O-Ring chains are injected at the factory with a lifetime supply of internal lubricant. The purpose of an O-Ring lube is to keep the chain from rusting and the O-rings from drying out. We recommend RK special formula O-Ring Chain Lube because it is a non-aerosol, specifically formulated to stick the chain, yet not attract excessive dirt.

    If the chain is not too dirty, the operation of lubrication is normally sufficient to clean the chain.
    When the accumulation of dirt on the chain (sand, mud, asphalt particles or other foreign materials) is excessive, the chain must be washed with a brush and kerosene. After washing, the chain has to be dried immediately with a jet of compressed air.
    After off-road use, when the dirt built-up is heavy, wash the chain with a water jet, then dry it immediately with compressed air.
    Avoid the use of steam, gasoline or solvents.
    When cleaning O-Ring chains, avoid the use of hard brushes or other methods that could damage the rubber O-Rings (compressed air should be kept at 50 cm/2 ft distance minimum).
    After washing, immediately lubricate the chain as explained in the next chapter.

    To clean your Tsubaki chain, it is first necessary to raise the motorcycle on its centre stand with the engine off and the transmission in neutral. Then rotate the rear wheel of the motorcycle (using care to keep your fingers away from the sprockets and chain), spray a moisture displacement lubricant to one side of the chain. After 2 or 3 full revolutions, switch sides and repeat. In this manner you have floated the dirt off the chain and now you need to wipe off the chain with a clean cloth to remove the excess lubricant and dirt residue. Never use a flammable solvent such as gasoline, benzine or kerosene. Additionally, never use water, detergents, steam cleaner or a coarse brush as these damage the chain.

    Diamond Chain:
    O-ring chains may be cleaned externally by washing in kerosene. Do not use
    any other cleaning agent or the O-rings may be damaged. When cleaning O-ring chain, clean only the external areas of the chain.
    Do not attempt to force kerosene into the pin-bush cavity.
    For chains which are still usable, soak them in SAE 40 or 50 automotive engine oil (without additives).
    Flexing the chain in oil will assure greater penetration of lubricant. Inspect
    and clean sprockets.

    Clear as mud. :lol3

    I use Gunscrubber (Good ole ozone depleting global warming 1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE) sprayed on a rag to remove all of the built-up grease, dirt and mung from the chain and sprocket, then I spray it down with WD40 and wipe that down and let it dry, then I use chain lube (currently using PJ1 blue label) to lubricate the chain. I let it sit and then I wipe the excess from the chain.

    If I wash the bike I skip the Gunscrubber and spray the chain with WD40 to displace :lol3 the water from the chain, then I lube with chain lube.

    This is one of those deals where manfacturers recomendations lose to personal preferences. :wink:
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  2. gboezio

    gboezio Been here awhile

    Apr 13, 2007
    Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada
    Holy shizzle, they are all different, I guess I should boil the whole bike in a grease bath once in a while, but that may not get past the O-rings :lol3
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  3. RTL

    RTL n00b

    Nov 21, 2007
    This is what I think most motorcycle chain o-rings are made of:

    [FONT=DJACZZ+Avenir-Heavy]Buna-N (Nitrile) O-Rings[/FONT]​

    Standard Nitrile is also known as Buna-N. Excellent resistance to petroleum-based oils and fuels, water and alcohols. Nitrile also has good resistance to acids and bases, except those with a strong oxidizing effect.
    Limitations: Avoid highly polar solvents (Acetone, MEK, etc.) and direct exposure to ozone and sunlight.
    Chemistry: Copolymer of butadiene and acrylonitrile. By varying the acrylonitrile content, elastomers with improved oil/fuel swell or with improved low-temperature performance can be achieved. Specialty versions of carboxylated high-acrylonitrile butadiene copolymers (XNBR) provide improved abrasion resistance. And hydrogenated versions of these copolymers (HNBR) provide improve chemical and ozone resistance elastomers.
    Trade Names: CHEMIGUM ® , HYCAR ® , PARACRIL ® , PERBUNAN ®
    ASTM D1418 Designation: NBR, XNBR, HNBR
    ASTM D2000/SAE J200 Type, Class: BF, BG, BK, CH
    Temperature Range: –55° to 120°C (–65° to 248°F)
    Typical Uses: Ion Implant, PVD
    <TABLE cellSpacing=3 cellPadding=2 border=2><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle>Compound# </TD><TD align=middle>Color</TD><TD align=middle>Hardness
    Shore A
    </TD><TD align=middle>Tensile
    Mpa (Psi)
    </TD><TD align=middle>Elongation %</TD><TD align=middle>22Hr C/S
    @ 100C
    </TD><TD align=middle>Low Temp</TD><TD align=middle>High Temp</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>B1000</TD><TD align=middle>Black</TD><TD align=middle>70</TD><TD align=middle>15.0 (2,150)</TD><TD align=middle>400</TD><TD align=middle>10</TD><TD align=middle>–40°C(–40°F)</TD><TD align=middle>120°C(248°F)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​
    [FONT=EICHZZ+Avenir-Heavy]* Buna-N is available in a wide range of Durometers and Colors[/FONT][FONT=DJACZZ+Avenir-Heavy],
    as well as many compound variations designed to meet specific applications.
  4. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

    Feb 9, 2004
    Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit
    I'm trying, and even if my attempt at sanity was half-baked and poorly executed, I was trying... well, at least I can offer a response from the maker's of WD-40:

  5. spence.smith

    spence.smith n00b

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hello guys,
    I searched and got conflicting answers.
    Some say WD40 is of kerosene base so safe on o-ring chain when used for cleaning. Others say it might damage the o-ring.

    So should I use WD40 on my SV's chain or not?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  6. showkey

    showkey Long timer

    Jun 25, 2007

    What does WD-40 contain?
    While the ingredients in WD-40 are secret, we can tell you what WD-40 does NOT contain. WD-40 does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing agents.

    (chain) Lube is a personal perference:evil ..............dozens of threads on dozens of sites
  7. groop

    groop So much to ponder

    Jun 5, 2007
    oc, ca
    nice test but you may consider longer exposure times and not using a vitamin basin filled with plasticizers (maybe Bis-A?) that may affect the (re)action of the solvents.

    Just installed my first o-ring chain on my CR250 last week and I was wondering about lube.
  8. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Aug 18, 2003
    Richmond, Va

    I thought it was made out of menhaden.
  9. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

    Apr 30, 2008
    Hockley, Tx
    It's varsol and a little bit of oil.
  10. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

    Dec 8, 2006
    5th and Main
    I am surprised no one has mentioned how much better chains are today than 20+ years ago. In the 80's I had to adjust the chains ALL the time. Now, my DL650 hasn't even moved since new. My other bikes maybe one notch in the life of the chain so far. My routine is to keep it clean, adjusted properly and keep an eye open for chipped sprocket teeth.
  11. KRS

    KRS Sand.... My Nemesis

    May 7, 2008
    Southern Idaho
    Great test (I know it's older but hey, the thread is back man). I wonder how the o-rings react to various lubricants used and then the solvents?

    What I mean is, what if the rubber reacts to the rider's lube of choice and then reacts to the cleaning agent because of the lube?

    Chain lube spray
    what else do ya-all use?

    These were all 'virgin' o-rings.

    Just thought I'd ask if anyone else had wondered?

  12. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

    Feb 9, 2004
    Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit
    I just found out that I had it ALL WRONG, all this time... it's not WD-40 on your chain; it's ATF. A friend told me a reliable fella says he has 77,000 miles on his chain, and he only uses ATF on it.

    Note: I don't think this means I was wrong about WD-40, because its not the best thing for your forks... :rofl

  13. a$$hole

    a$$hole Long timer

    May 28, 2009
    New Boston, MI
    Well damn. I just realized that it was pretty stupid to use compressed air AND WD40 to blow the crap off my chain!:eek1 Hopefully I didnt ruin it. This sucks.
  14. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Jul 9, 2007
    the 'Ha
    Agreed. The advent of the O-ring (and the subsequent Z- and X-ring) chain has markedly improved chain life. The steel has also gotten much better. All my bikes are chain drive and it does not bother me one iota.
  15. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Aug 18, 2003
    Richmond, Va

    Yep, I just changed my DL650 chain at 23,000 miles. Only reason to change out was the counter sprocket was getting crunchy. When I compared the new chain to the old stocker, there was very little stretch. Stock chain on my Strom was an X-ring, not no steenkin o-ring.
  16. aryapradana

    aryapradana n00b

    Dec 21, 2011
    whoa i just red about the test using wd-40. a lot of my friend told me that wd-40 is good for cleaning, but since it's a penetrant, they told me that is not good using it for lubricating chain. a chain lube is better
  17. Maxi

    Maxi n00b

    Dec 18, 2011
    interesting. Thanks for the experiment
  18. tgeliot

    tgeliot Topher

    Jun 22, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Astro-glide FTW!
  19. erkankaplan

    erkankaplan n00b

    Mar 21, 2012
    Very very nice work :clap :clap thank you..
  20. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Dec 22, 2007
    N.E. Ga./Landrum S.C. USA
    Thanks for taking the time.:1drink